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High Court Sets Aside Dzamara Conviction

High Court has today set aside the conviction of Patson Dzamara and Makomborero Haruzivishe who were sentenced to 12 months in prison for defeating the course of justice.

Represented by Obey Shava a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the two activists had appealed against a decision of a Harare magistrate sitting at Harare Magistrates Courts on 29 June 2017.

Dzamara and Haruzivishe had been convicted of defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in section 184(1)(g) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment of which 3 months were suspended for 5 years on condition of good behaviour and remaining 9 months imprisonment were suspended on condition that Dzamara and Haruzivishe perform 315 hours of community service.

Dzamara and Haruziviishe had completed 1 month of community service with the remaining 8 being suspended after the appeal was filed.

In setting aside the conviction and quashing the sentence, the High Court judges said the police had not been civil in its approach of the matter adding that the context of the whole case pointed towards a political motive.

The court also noted that this was not a bonafide arrest as the police wanted Dzamara and crew out of the Africa Unity Square at all costs or by hook or crook and this was not a bona fide arrest.

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It is in light of the above that the High Court allowed the appeal, set aside the conviction and quashed the sentence.

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